24 December 2008

So Bright!

I watched four of the ATM Christmas shows (1980, the two 1981s, and 1982), then cleaned up the spare room, which was still scattered with the remains of Christmas wrapping (there's one gift to go, but we can do that on the kitchen table), and folded up the table and vacuumed. Then I sat down to watch the two For Better or For Worse specials, "The Bestest Present," set when Elizabeth was small, and "A Christmas Angel," a later story set when April was a baby.

Now I have The Homecoming on. Glory be, how lovely it looks on this television!! I don't usually widescreen things that were made fullscreen, but this doesn't look too badly distorted and the Jackson Hole scenery is even more breathtaking in a wide format. I did like the original sets for this story! Granted, the set for The Waltons house was closer to the real Hamner home, but everything in The Homecoming looks as if it is vintage 1933 or earlier, and it looks much grittier than the series did, even in its first few years.

I particularly love the kitchen of the Walton house—the big Hoosier cabinet, the spice cabinet hanging on the wall, even the cast iron match holder next to the stove. Ike's store is great, too; the big iceboxes, the red soda keg, the old sewing thread cabinet in the background, Ike's butcher table, the post boxes with the coffee grinders on top of it—wonderful, wonderful set dressing. You can just smell the kettle of vegetable soup the kids have for lunch, feel the little chill in the general store heated only by a stove, taste the bologna Sheriff Bridges has for lunch, hear the hum that is in the air when it snows in the country.

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